Friday, April 20, 2012

Real Cloth Diaper Week Day 5: Night time diapering

This post is part of the Real Diaper Week Blog Hop.

Today I'm going to give some tips on night time diapering.  This seems to cause big issues for newbies to cloth.  I feel very confident in our night solution after trying just about everything at night.

Everyone has their different answer at night.  Some really like pocket diapers for the wicking ability to help baby sleep longer by not feeling wet.  Some really like prefolds or flats day and night.  Many others seem to go the fitted and wool route.  Some others wake baby during the night to change them-but honestly I've always thought that was a bit silly because I REALLY like my sleep :).  I've tried everything at night and different things have worked for each kid.

We started cloth diapering Monkey when he was 2.5 months and I pretty much jumped right in.  He was ALWAYS a super soaker and would even soak through a disposable at night.  I started out by just using pockets with both the one size insert and a doubler.  Eventually that didn't work anymore so I started using 2 full inserts.  Eventually I tried a hemp insert with a microfiber one.  Occasionally I'd use a fitted but I didn't really like them on him all that much-honestly I don't know why!  I started using wool on him when he was about 6 months old (upcycled from old sweaters that I'd find).  I would sometimes put him in a prefold or fitted with wool over but the pattern I originally used didn't really fit over fitteds well.  When his urine issues started we switched exclusively to prefolds and wool and didn't look back.  At night I'd lay a hemp insert in his prefold before putting it on.  I eventually had to switch to toddler prefolds not really for size as much as for the extra absorbency.  I would always lay a microfleece liner on top to help wick the moisture away.  We eventually switched to Gerber style undies (thick panel in the center) with a Monkey Bunns overnight wool soaker over top and sometimes we'd even double the undies up so that he'd feel like he was in underwear but not cause a huge puddle in the bed (have I mentioned Monkey is a SUPER deep sleeper?).

Kangaroo was in mostly fitteds when we started cloth diapering him as a newborn.  I made his stash of fitteds except for the few Kissaluvs I had.  I made them to have a microfleece layer against him so they'd work as night diapers too.  I would change him every time he woke up.  I normally would put a PUL cover over top because I ran out of time before he was born to make him some overnight covers which REALLY make a big difference if you have a heavy wetter due to oversupply and overactive letdown.  When he grew out of his newborn diapers I decided to switch to fitteds at night.  We only had a few one size fitteds and a Kissaluvs 1 from when Monkey was a newborn.  We stretched the 0s as far as we possibly could.  Eventually I heard about Pooters contours.  As of writing this they are out of stock again but they are well worth the wait especially for the price!  They are only 2 layers of fabric so you will want to add something else inside (a flat, a hemp insert, a hemp preflat, whatever floats your boat) and may want to lay a microfleece liner over top.  They are SO soft though and very easy to Snappi, pin, or Boigo. I also was a tester for Fancy Cloth Baby (awesome WAHM!) and her one size fitted diapers.  I did a trade with her a couple months ago to get another one size fitted I love them so much!  When Kangaroo was a few months old he started to fit in the medium wool covers I made for Monkey so we started to use those while I started making a couple overnights.  Now he has several he can wear overnight now that he's in a size Large (I made him 3 upcycled for overnight, bought a Baby Beehinds used, and made him a linen stitch soaker and an overnight one-all are AWESOME for night, nap, and under jeans in a carseat).  We do wool day and night most of the time now.

Some tips for Night-time diapering
  • Whatever you use during the day you will need more absorbency at night.  You'll want to add an extra insert regardless of what you try.  If you do prefolds or flats consider trying hemp instead or a hemp insert on top of or try laying a flat inside of the prefold or flat.
  • Don't be afraid to try wool!  Night wool is fairly inexpensive-especially for only a few covers.  It's really easy to wash-it pretty much involves soaking it for a bit and gently wringing out and laying out to dry.  You could even try wool over a pocket diaper if you want to be super sure it won't leak.
  • Night diapers are usually bulky.  It is what it is.  To get the best absorbency you're likely going to end up bulky.  I've found using stretchy PJs or going up a size in some footie PJs is best.  OR you could always just get a couple pairs of wool longies and pair with a t-shirt at night.  One other option is a wool sleep sack or wool gown (Monkey Bunns offers wool night gowns for babies with a bottom that closes).
  • Every baby is different and every phase is different.  What works now might not work later or what doesn't work now doesn't mean it won't work later.
  • Consider adding a microfleece or suedecloth liner to the diaper.  These can be really easy to make at home if you don't want to buy any.  You can even cut up a thin dollar store fleece blanket to make rectangular liners.  When your baby feels dry it helps them sleep longer.  Not all babies have issues with this though-it totally depends on your baby.  I have noticed that poop is easier to remove on these types of liners though so that's a plus.
  • You don't HAVE to wake your baby up to change them.  Experiment with different options.  It is a good idea if baby is already awake to change them so always plan on 1-2 spares if you don't want to use disposables.  When you have a sick baby you aren't going to want to run to the store at 2 AM to hurry and get another diaper they can wear at night and you probably won't want to start a load of laundry either.
  • You may want to be sure to have an extra couple for naps too.  Night diapers work very well during nap time if your little one takes a regular nap.
Sweet dreams little one!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a custom Monkey Bunns wool soaker!

*The Amazon links link through my referral program.  I receive a small portion of the sales.  The money helps us to buy homeschooling books for Monkey and Kangaroo.  Thanks in advance for your support!  I will also note that I am the owner of Monkey Bunns so I do talk about my products sometimes.  I also talk about other products I like because in developing my product I have tried many other things too.*


  1. Actually i was confused about night time cloth diapering.Really your post was very useful.Thanks for the post.

    1. I'm so glad you found it helpful! I just realized that some of the companies I listed are no longer in business! If you need any help finding awesome products I'm always happy to help. You're welcome to email me at monkeybunns AT gmail DOT com :)